Listen up, love birds. There’s someone other than your orthodontist who has an opinion about your smile.

Although we orthodontists are interested in the mechanics of your smile and our priority is creating a proper relationship among your teeth, gums and jaws, I get that these may not be the primary reasons you have come to me for smile improvements.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m lightening things up a bit by sharing what several studies and dating websites say about the smile.

A Penn State University study found that people who smile are perceived as more likeable, courteous and competent, according to a Fast Company article.

But another study suggests that you might want to be careful about how broadly you smile, particularly if you’re using the Internet to seek investments instead of love connections.

The level of smile intensity in marketing photos on crowd-funding websites and other marketing outlets influences how consumers perceive your competence and warmth, according to a University of Kansas study. In these cases, the broader the smile, the less competent you appear. Go figure.

A sad reality revealed among smile studies conducted by dating websites and apps is that smiles are not viewed the same between men and women.

The dating website OkCupid looked at more than 7,000 member photos in 2010 and discovered some smile differences when it came to the success of their profile photos. Women get more messages when their profile pic shows them smiling flirtatiously at the camera, the study found, while the most effective photos of men featured them looking away from the camera and not smiling.

Ladies, if you’re looking to ramp up that smile another notch, tilt your head to the side, according to a recent study by dating app Coffee Meets Bagel. The app looked at 300 single users and discovered that “of single women who are ‘liked’ more than 50 percent of the time, 71 percent smile while tilting their heads, while 58 percent show their teeth while smiling, and 24 percent smile with their mouths closed,” according to Stylecaster.

Guys who show their teeth when they smile in their photos also fare well on Coffee Meets Bagel, according to the study, but they need to avoid the head tilt. Apparently, that only works for the ladies.

Smiling can help you be more memorable, and it makes you appear more attractive, according to a 2014 study published in Business Insider. During that study, researchers discovered that a person’s attractiveness increased with the intensity of their smile.

The catch with smiling is that it must look genuine, according to a 2013 study published in the journal Evidence-Based Medicine. It must incorporate your eyes, and the eyes should crinkle at the corners.

What’s a guy or girl to do if they’re unhappy with the state of their smile and it’s standing in the way of meeting Mr. or Ms. Right? Contact our office to schedule a consultation and learn about your treatment options. In addition to conventional braces, we offer Invisalign for an aesthetic treatment that isn’t noticeable when worn. We also offer self-ligating braces which produce result quickly. Call today for an appointment.

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